Date Published 06 October 2012
Britons who are thinking of putting up a friend or relative for a few nights should think again after new research found that more than two thirds of homeowners (68%) have had to endure unwanted house guests at a whopping cost of £1.8billion each year in additional living expenses.
The study by Sheilas` Wheels home insurance found that the most costly culprits - guilty of outstaying their welcome the longest - are adult sons and daughters with the average parents shelling out £465 per year on hosting their overgrown offspring.
The "boomerang generation" of young adults who have flown the nest but just keep coming back typically stay three weeks a year beyond their welcome. Struggling to get on the property ladder, a quarter of adult sons and daughters (26%) have even had to shack up with their parents long term to save money on rent.
Family and friends visiting from across the UK also topped the list of unwanted guests (24%) with particularly irritating family members (15%) and mother-in-laws (15%) following closely behind.
According to the findings, more than half (51%) of homeowners have had a row with those they live with about their troublesome house guests. A fifth of mother-in-laws (11%) were guilty of outstaying their welcome for two weeks or more a year causing an unlucky 28% to admit that their visits had caused arguments with their other half and a rift in the home.
With guests staying longer than their hosts would like, Brits have revealed a lengthy list of gripes. Amongst the pet peeves of annoying visitors was leaving mess lying around (38%), never tidying (33%) and not offering to contribute towards bills (29%).
Top ten unwanted guest gripes:
1 Leaving mess lying around (38%);
2 Never tidying (33%);
3 Not offering to contribute to bills (29%);
4 Eating someone else`s food from the fridge (28%);
5 Never saying thank you (28%);
6 Avoiding washing up (26%);
7 Hogging the television (26%);
8 Making loud noises (23%);
9 Everyone having to change their sleeping routine (22%);
10 Talking during films (22%).
Across the country, Londoners fared the worst with half of those surveyed (50%) revealing they had to cope with extra guests over the Olympics period and a further 40% admitted friends and family had stayed in their home to save money on accommodation during the Games.
Jacky Brown, at Sheilas` Wheels home insurance, said: "Brits are well known for being an over-polite bunch but it clearly comes at a hidden cost. What is really worrying is that it is not just the financial implication of housing ‘unwanted` guests that is a concern but also the pressure it puts on relationships when sharing a living space for that little bit too long."